At the age of eight, Paul made his Karting debut, following in the footsteps of cousin Dario Franchitti - who was to go on to achieve great success in Indy Cars.
Over the next few years the youngster was to rise through the Karting ranks, finishing runner-up in the European championship in 1999 and winning the British championship in 2001.
In 2002, Paul made the switch to single-seaters, contesting the British Formula Renault Winter Series. He remained in Formula Renault for the next two seasons, finishing seventh in 2003 and third in 2004.
In addition to his impressive outings in the British Formula Renault series in 2004, Paul also contested several rounds of the of Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 and the Bahrain F3-Superprix in which he finished fifth. Unsurprisingly, he won the McLaren Autosport BRDC Young Driver of The Year Award, thereby following in the footsteps of his famous cousin once again, Dario Franchitti having won it in 1992. As part of his prize, the youngster got to test a McLaren F1 car at Silverstone.
In 2005, Paul moved up to the F3 Euroseries with Manor Motorsport. While it was a largely disappointing season for the Scot - he finished tenth overall - the following year he bounced back in style taking the title from under the nose of Sebastian Vettel, courtesy of five wins and four other podium finishes.
For 2007, Paul made the surprise switch to DTM with Trilux AMG Mercedes - once again following the path taken by his cousin. Finishing the season fifth overall, he was also was the highest placed driver in a non-2007 car.
Such was the impression he made on Mercedes in 2007, for 2008 he was handed a Mercedes C Klasse drive and he repaid the German manufacturer by finishing runner-up just 4 points behind title winner Timo Scheider in the Audi. He remained with Mercedes in DTM for 2009 this time finishing third overall behind Scheider and (McLaren tester) Gary Paffett.
Following the link-up with McLaren and Mercedes for the 2009 season, there was speculation that Paul might get a test seat, or even a race seat, with Force India, however, the Silverstone-based outfit opted for Giancarlo Fisichella, Adrian Sutil and Tonio Liuzzi.
Following three days of testing for the Indian team at Jerez in late 2009 - when he was consistently among the pace-setters - it was widely assumed Paul might get a race seat for 2010, but again it was not to be as the team retained Sutil and Liuzzi. However, on February 2, Paul was confirmed as official test and reserve driver.
In addition to his F1 duties, it was revealed that Paul would continue in DTM, the youngster determined to go one better than he did in 2008. Which he duly did.
Already enjoying a strong season, the HWA Team Mercedes driver took three straight wins at Brands Hatch, Oschersleben and Hockenheim, and despite a determined fight back from English rival Paffett, the Scot took the title by 4 points.
In F1, Paul made his practice debut for Force India on the Friday morning of the Australian Grand Prix weekend. There were further appearances at Sepang, Shanghai, Barcelona, Valencia, Silverstone, the Hungaroring and Monza.
In addition to the Young Driver test in Abu Dhabi, where he finished eighth overall, Paul also took part in two days of the subsequent Pirelli tyre test, finishing ninth overall.
Linked throughout the winter to the second seat at Force India in 2011, the situation was complicated by the fact that Tonio Liuzzi already had a contract in place. However, on January 26, Paul was confirmed as Adrian Sutil's teammate while Nico Hulkenberg was recruited as test and reserve driver.
On his F1 debut, in Melbourne, Paul out-qualified his teammate, however, next day the pair could only mange to finish eleventh and twelfth. The subsequent disqualification of the Sauber duo however, meant that Paul joined that elite club of drivers who have scored points on their F1 debut.
In seven of the next nine races, Paul out-qualified his teammate, however, Sunday afternoons were to prove a little more difficult. Although he scored another point in Malaysia, the Scot failed to secure a points finish in the next eight races.
For much of the season Paul was plagued by poor strategy, both on track and off, in qualifying and on race days. A typical example was Turkey where the youngster was released from his pit before time, the Scot subsequently losing a wheel at the end of the pitlane and having to retire.
In Canada he had an absolute nightmare. Running a convincing fifth, he collided with Nick Heidfeld and broke his front wing. He was subsequently given a drive through penalty for causing the collision. Later in the race, he was about to mount an attack on Rubens Barrichello for ninth place when he made an unforced error and hit a wall.
The VJM04 was a no frills machine, what some might call conservative. However, it was a solid foundation of a car that could be built upon, which is exactly what the team did. Having scored just twelve points in the first half of the season, from Germany the Silverstone outfit racked up a further fifty-seven, Paul responsible for twenty-five of them.
Seventh in Hungary, was followed by an eighth in Italy and a highly impressive sixth in Singapore, all of which helped his team leapfrog Sauber in the standings and ultimately claim seventh in the championship, its best result since 2002.
While there were obvious mistakes, it was easy to overlook the fact that this was the Scot's first season in F1. His consistency was amazing, the youngster completing more race laps than any of his rivals, 97.5% of the total laps that constituted the season. Indeed, there was only one retirement, that pesky loose wheel in Turkey, no wonder most regard him as their rookie of the year.
It was a no-brainer for Force India to retain him for 2012. However, he was to face stiff opposition from another rising star, Nico Hulkenberg.
Once again, 2012 saw Force India caught up in the war zone that is the midfield, the Silverstone-based outfit battling Sauber, Williams and Toro Rosso, though in all honesty much of fight was with its Swiss rivals. Once again the Indian team enjoyed a low key start to the season, gaining momentum as the year progressed. Indeed, from Belgium to Brazil the team enjoyed a run of nine races in which it scored points, a feat only managed (and bettered) by five other teams.
At its best on street circuits the VJM05 lost out as its rivals continued to bring on the updates. And there's the rub, for while Force India enjoyed a healthy run of points finishes in the second half of the season it could have been so much better however, as Technical Director Andy Green admitted following the summer shut down the team effectively gave up on development and instead switched focus to 2013. Just a bit more effort, a little more self belief and it is entirely possible that Force India could have beaten Sauber to sixth overall.
As expected, the pairing of Paul and Hulkenberg was strong, though the German clearly had the better season. While the Scot had some strong results, he lost momentum in the second half of the season, especially when it became clear that there wasn't going to be an invite from one of the bigger teams.
In many ways, Paul's season was encapsulated by the fact that he finished the season 14th in the standings on 46 points whilst a year earlier 27 points was good enough for thirteenth.
Largely outperforming Hulkenberg in the first half of the season, Paul visibly wilted after the summer break both in qualifying and in the races. There was the superb drive to fourth in Singapore but that was overshadowed by his teammate's performance in Brazil, the German coming very close to scoring a win and one of the true shocks of the season. By contrast, Paul crashed out of seventh place.
While Paul continued with the team for 2013, despite no official announcement, even performing the unveiling of the VJM06 solo, it wasn't until February 28, the start of the final pre-season test, that Adrian Sutil was confirmed as his teammate.
Much as was the case at Ferrari, for Force India it was a season of two halves. In Australia both drivers finished in the points, though it was back to earth with a bump in Malaysia when both retired within a couple of laps of one another with a wheelnut issue.
A strong performance in Bahrain saw Paul finish fourth, pipped for third by Romain Grosjean in the closing stages, while a disappointing qualifying session in the wet meant he started from 17th in Monaco. Initially going for an aggressive two-stop strategy, luck played its part and due to a red flag Paul was able to use a new set of tyres and made it up to ninth place with some good overtakes.
Another disappointing qualifying session in Canada saw Paul starting in 17th position once again. Starting on the harder tyres he was able to run the longest of all drivers on his first stint, going 56 laps before finally making his only pit stop. The strategy worked as he finished the race in 7th.
Whilst the team appeared to have succeeded better in terms of tyre management than its rivals, it let itself down in other areas, particularly strategy, whilst a lack of single-lap pace hindered in qualifying. Furthermore, the situation wasn't helped by Paul's public criticism of the team, a trait not widely appreciated in the F1 paddock.
Then came the summer break and along with it the changes to the tyre compounds. After that Force India was but a shadow of its former self, a situation not helped by Paul crashing out in consecutive races, only one of the incidents attributable to another driver. After six consecutive point finishes between China and Britain, Paul was to record five consecutive retirements between Hungary and Korea.
At season end the team dropped both drivers, bringing Nico Hulkenberg back from Sauber and putting him alongside Sergio Perez. Earlier talk linking Paul with Ferrari, Mercedes and McLaren became a distant memory, as the Scot's options ran out one-by-one.
Consequently, 2014 saw the Scot return to DTM with HWA, finishing the season 15th overall. The following year, still with HWA he improved to 8th courtesy of three trips to the podium.
In March 2016, days ahead of the F1 season opener, and already confirmed at Mercedes-Benz DTM Team HWA II, Paul was revealed as Williams reserve driver.
Alongside his F1 duties, the Scot contested DTM with Mercedes claiming one win on his way to finishing the season fifth overall.
Retained by Williams for 2017, the Scot was on duty for Sky Sports in Hungary when at just over an hour's notice he was called on to replace an unwell Felipe Masa in qualifying and then the race.
Understandably he struggled, lining up 19th on the grid and retiring 60 laps into the race with an oil leak.
Under the circumstances however he gave a good account of himself and therefore it came as no surprise when Williams called on him to take part in a shoot-out with Robert Kubica as it looked to find a partner for Lance Stroll in 2018.
In the end neither driver made the cut, and Paul, who finished 11th in the 2017 DTM, looks likely either to return to the German series or join some of his former colleagues in Formula E.
On 2 February, it was confirmed that Paul, along with Pascal Wehrlein, both having had the F1 door slammed firmly in their faces, would return to DTM with Mercedes for the German manufacturer's swan-song.